“Transplant” explores the lives of Japanese nationals and citizens who were interned in War Relocation Centers in the dusty desert of California during WWII and how they cultivated gardens as a creative outlet to survive their confinement. Despite the horrendous conditions–an inhospitable site, being treated as a second-class citizen by the government, losing most of their possessions– residents of these “camps” constructed beautifully landscaped parks complete with ponds, rock gardens, and bridges. This piece pays homage to their ingenuity and personal drive to physically transform gravel into gardens, altering their built environment as an act of defiance.
In “Transplant” a bell jar sits on a table two feet in front of a blank wall. A video projector projects a movie onto the contents of the bell jar and the wall behind it creating a theater of shadow plays and interactions between the confined insides of the jar and the outside world.
Heidi Kumao is faculty member at A&D.
More about Heidi Kumao.